It's raining Yaz!
All the contempt I feel for Hobby Lobby I can muster does not make spending money here OK.
I still shop at Hobby Lobby, sigh. And I’m not proud about it.
Hobby Lobby is a family-run business whose target market is married women who craft — a demographic of people who are very likely to seek out abortions.
The anger I feel isn’t just towards this business, but towards myself (since I keep returning to spend money).
Going to Hobby Lobby, for me, is an experience fraught with a lot of negative emotions.
The shame creeps over me as I pull into the monstrous parking lot. Then, the shame turns to guilt as I navigate away from the tchotchkes made in China, past the massive faux-vintage wall-mounted letters, through the artificial Christmas tree forest…
Until I eventually emerge at the art supplies — which are the only things I buy at Hobby Lobby, I swear!
I cope with these moments by repeating the mantra YOU GET AN ABORTION AND YOU GET AN ABORTION in an Oprah-like voice in my mind.
But all the contempt I feel for Hobby Lobby I can muster does not make spending money here OK.
Intentionally offending those with differing opinions isn’t going to change anyone's mind or get us a good deal.
Knowing that I am financially supporting a company so outspoken about restricting a women’s rights that they would deny their employees access to healthcare is gross. I feel awful about it. All the crafting supplies in the world can’t make up for this truth.
Also, I’m a hypocrite.
But I did. Over time, Hobby Lobby lured me back into its Jesus-loving automatic sliding doors. It wasn’t the weekly 40% off coupon that got me — it was the goddamn specific products that I repeatedly purchase as an artist.
(I’m thinking about you, florescent paint.)
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Look, I’ve probably supported anti-abortion organizations many times before without even knowing it.
The more I think about my dysfunctional relationship with Hobby Lobby, the more I’m absolutely certain that when I lived in the South (twice), I spent money at businesses that supported political issues that I don’t believe in. I mean, my former landlord was Old South Properties.
What was so good about the “Old South”? Think about it.
Bad politics isn’t always as blatant as a company being an outspoken hater of Planned Parenthood — after all, they still want your money.
They can be very sneaky.
For example, I went to the most delightful garage sale in Florida with the loveliest Me-Maws running it. Everything was priced dirt-cheap. It was, dare I say, Holy. It was only I made my purchase and got home that I discovered they had slipped an anti-choice pamphlet and a shrimpy pink fetus into my bag.
Damn it! Those tricky-ass Me-Maws got me!
After that incident, I’m much more selective about where I thrift. It's safe to assume that a thrift store with a name like “Life Network,” “Miracle Shop,” or “Forever Jesus Hope Super Resale Store” is probably funding extremist political ideals.
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So why do I still do shop at Hobby Lobby instead of just telling them what the fuck is up?
Because intentionally offending those with differing opinions isn’t going to change anyone's mind or get us a good deal. Kindness is a balm, a balm that heals — the Bible says that.
Just kidding. It doesn’t.
I was raised Catholic. (Newsflash: They don’t like abortions either.) When I encounter seeds of contempt in others, I choose to soothe those seeds, rather than to act in a way that can be used to validate hateful opinions or justify the use of violence and terrorism.
When I lived in Florida, someone set a local family planning clinic on fire.
I wouldn’t set a Hobby Lobby on fire, and I wouldn’t want to lend to any of the warped motives that supposedly justified these actions.
This clinic had been bombed on Christmas Day in 1984 and again in 1994 — at which time a doctor was killed.
Why can’t I just stop shopping at Hobby Lobby and take up with another less controversial store? Doing so would definitely ease my guilt.
The Hobby Lobby nearest to my Florida home sold Confederate flags. I emailed and called their main offices in Oklahoma to voice my disgust. But as it turns out, each Hobby Lobby is free to stock whatever they think the community would like to buy.
Apparently there is a demand for Confederate flags in Pensacola, FL. Surprising.
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How do I have this insight into how Hobby Lobby is run as a business?
Founder David Green wrote a 2010 book called More Than a Hobby, which outlines the company's history up until the Great Recession.
(I told you I only buy paint, but what can I say? I’m a sucker for books.)
Most of the economic policies that made the company a success are outmoded and actually contributed to the Recession itself (i.e. cheaply-made crap from China sold at a mark-up).
Jesus has clearly blessed him with great wealth.
I can respect any religion. I’m actually fine with Hobby Lobby being closed on Sunday: A day off to worship just means their loss of profits from Satanic Sunday crafters.
I just expect the same respect in return to the women that work at Hobby Lobby to make the their own choices for their healthcare. I draw at any employer the line at imposing their personal beliefs onto others.
But what about my fucking paint?
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WWJS? (“Where would Jesus shop?”)
Why can’t I just stop shopping at Hobby Lobby and take up with another, less controversial store? Doing so would definitely ease my guilt.
But I can’t! They got what I need, and they're close to my house, for those moments when I need paint and I need it NOW.
Since examining my complex relationship with Hobby Lobby, I’ve limited the amount I spend in the store, what I purchase, and how much money I spend.
I also have taken to subversive action, doing things such as re-ordering all the iron-on monogram letters to spell out S-E-X and leaving abortion provider pamphlets in the restroom.
And I’m nice. I’m nice to the poor employees in the belly of the beast, as I try to be the change I want to see in the world.
If any Hobby Lobby employee ever needed an abortion, I’d happily give them the money for it.